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Revenue and Capital Budgets 2019/2020 (Labour Amendment)

21 February 2019

Motion

A report presented to Council provided details of the revenue and capital budget proposals for 2019/20.

The Cabinet had considered initial budget proposals on 20 November 2018, which had been developed in accordance with the principles set out in the Medium Term Financial Strategy. In accordance with the budget and policy framework rules within the Constitution, the Overview and Scrutiny Committees had then considered the Cabinet's proposals prior to Cabinet's consideration of the draft budget on 5 February 2019.

It was noted that an overarching Diversity Impact Assessment, as set out in Appendix 8 to the report, summarised the results of the Diversity Impact Assessments which had been completed for each of the services affected by the proposed budget changes.

In his introduction, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett referred to an addendum report which was circulated to advise the Council of a correction required to the calculation of the Council Tax uplift and yield, a series of revisions to the budget requirement and a change to the schedule of Parish Council precepts, all of which were explained in the report and highlighted in bold in the revised recommendations at paragraph 2 of the addendum report and revised Appendices 1, 5, 6 and 6a.

The Leader highlighted additional revenue budget headroom as a consequence of these changes as follows:

Source of funding  
Additional Council Tax yield from a revised Band D rate of £1415.43 £253,000
Efficiency savings in the Children and Adults Directorate £300,000
Net additional income from Pentagon Centre rents £1,000 000
Total £1,553,000

The Leader also stated that he would be proposing additional capital schemes which would be funded from capital receipts with the exception of the purchase of the Pentagon Centre which would be funded by prudential borrowing. The Corn Exchange/Guildhall Museum, BRMF (Building Repairs and Maintenance Fund) and the Pentagon Centre related to additions to the 2018/19 Capital Programme whereas the other schemes related to the 2019/20 Capital Programme.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, supported by the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, proposed the recommendations set out in section 2 of the addendum report, together with the following detailed changes listed below in relation to recommendations 2.3 and 2.4 of the addendum report:

"Revenue Budget:

More detail to support the revised figures as reflected in the total net expenditure in recommendation 2.3 and shown in the revised summary table at appendix 1 of supplementary agenda 1:

National Cycling Championship £87,000
Gaming Festival £50,000
Environmental Enforcement £75,000
Visit Kent Campaign £20,000
Feasibility work to create a Rainham Community Hub £25,000
Civic Amenity site improvements £122,000
Reduction in Bulky Waste charging £123,000
Freezing for permit charges at 2018/19 levels £50,000
Potholes Repairs £229,000
Pay £772,000

Capital Budget:

Approve the proposed capital programme as set out in Appendix 3 and section 12 of the original report, amended for the additional capital schemes outlined below:

Corn Exchange / Guildhall Museum £590,000
BRMF £500,000
Members Priorities £200,000
Motorway Signage £60,000
Civic Amenity Site Improvements £133,000
Site Hardening £25,000
Wigmore Community Hub £250,000
Play Areas £82,000
RVS Building Adaptations £50,000
Purchase of Pentagon Centre £45,000,000"

Amendment

Councillor Maple, supported by Councillor Murray, proposed the following amendment, and clarified that the proposal to remove the charge for bulky waste collection would be funded by a reduction in officer time required to deal with flytipping.

Amend Appendix 1 to reflect the following proposals:

Reduce the Communication budget by £58,000 by ceasing production of Medway Matters.

Provide grant for Medway Foodbank of £12,000.

Provide grant for Red Box Project of £10,000.

Obtain independent advice on the closure of MCG of £5,000.

Increase the corporate management budget by £27,500 to increase ward improvement funds from £2,000 to £2,500.

Amend Appendix 7 to reflect the following proposals:

Remove the charge for bulky waste collection.

Reintroduce the Annual Visitors Parking Permit at a charge of £35 alongside refocusing of enforcement officers.

Add to the budget:

Creation of a £5m Invest to Save Fund resourced from future Rochester Riverside Capital Receipts.

Delete paragraph 22.2 and replace with:

22.2 Allocate the full budget for pay rises to the cost of living element."

On being put to the vote, the amendment was lost.

Vote Result

Votes by Councillor

For For For 17

The following councillors voted in favour of the amendment:

Against Against Against 30

The following councillors voted against the amendment:

Absent Absent Absent 7

The following councillors were absent from the vote:

To view the list of councillors who voted in favour or against the amendment, those who abstained and those who were absent, click on the appropriate heading.

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